I am trying to quantify the sinuosity of a GPS track (shows a loop pattern) and cannot seem to find any way to do this. I need to be able to quantify sinuosity for the removal of some unwanted data.

Is there a tool to measure sinuosity in arcmap, i am very unfamiliar with the codes in ArcMap 10?

2 Answers 2


Wikipedia defines sinuosity as:

the ratio of the curvilinear length (along the curve) and the distance (straight line) between the end points of the curve

So to calculate this in ArcGIS, you would need to determine:


If you define sinuosity as a measure of the deviation of a line from the shortest path (dividing total length by shortest possible path), on http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=00e708a448b74810a0e805c4a97f9d46, you can get a python toolbox "Calculate sinuosity" to it. Just download it and load it in ArcToolBox to make the script available.

Note that the Hawth's Analysis Tools for ArcGIS (http://www.spatialecology.com/htools/tooldesc.php) offers also a tool called LINE METRICS TOOL which computes sinuosity or fractal dimension of line but is limited to ArcGis9.2.

  • They actually include the code for this toolbox as an example in the help files as well.
    – Chris W
    Jul 8, 2014 at 19:41

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